i. (the ex)
your sister's boyfriend left
and she can't sleep anymore,
not with night always burning in her ear,
its palms frozen to her jaw and its
elbows splintering her chest,
made fragile from too many days spent
finding traces on the bookshelf, in the kitchen,
gaping with the emptiness of
being left behind,
and nothing i can do
could ease the aching of that
love ripped from her bones.
ii. (the parents)
both of you:
i know i've spit my share of poisoned words
that had no place inside a mother's mouth.
now yellow walls crack, all browning edges,
watching your father's beard turn grey,
his face wrapped with choking regret
and his callused hands, as he
waits for you to come back,
to say i'm sorry
my son, i am so sorry.
iii. (the remnants)
your sister's seven years thinner, and her
heart's been patched messily twice more
before you even think of turning around,
so some days
she braids my hair and i braid hers,
and i've tried and tried,
but i am weeping
for our broken fingers.